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Economic evaluation of radon remediation

Information: Alastair Gray

HERC has been involved for a number of years in the economic evaluation of measures to protect homes and schools from lung cancer-inducing radon gas, a policy area falling under a number of government departments including the Department of Trade and Industry, the Department for Environment Food and Rural Affairs, and the National Radiological Protection Board. None of these departments have previously used HTA-type methods of evaluation. This programme of work, commencing with a DPhil by Christine Kennedy, has been continued by Alastair Gray working with Professor Sarah Darby from the Clinical Trial Service Unit on an economic model to inform the work of the UK Advisory Group on Ionising Radiation's Sub-Group on Radon Epidemiology. More recently Alastair Gray has co-chaired the health economics working group of the World Health Organisation (WHO) International Radon Project

In 2008 the results of a study of lung cancer deaths from radon and measures to reduce them were accepted for publication in the BMJ. The study estimated the annual number of deaths related to radon in UK homes to be 1100, and concluded that basic preventive measures against radon in new homes is likely to be a highly cost effective public health intervention measure, with the potential to make a modest but worthwhile contribution to reducing the annual number of deaths from lung cancer in the UK, alongside existing policies to reduce smoking.

Publications

WHO handbook on indoor radon: a public health perspective, 2009, ed Hajo Zeeb and
Ferid Shannoun, includes a chapter by Alastair Gray on the cost-effectiveness of radon control. The handbook is available to download here

Gray A, Read, S, McGale, P, and Darby, S (2009). Lung cancer deaths from indoor radon and the cost effectiveness and potential of policies to reduce them. BMJ, 338:a3110.

Kennedy C, Gray AM, Denman A, Phillips P. (2002)The Cost-effectiveness of Residential Radon Remediation Programmes: Assumptions About Benefit Streams Over Time. Journal of Environmental Radioactivity, 59: 19-28.

Kennedy CA, Gray AM (2001). Cost-effectiveness Analysis of Radon Remediation Programmes. The Science of the Total Environment, 272: 9-15.

Kennedy CA, Gray AM (2000). Cost-effectiveness Analysis of Radon Remediation in UK Schools. International Journal of Environmental Health Research, 10(3):181-90.